Bright DIY Tropical Paper Backdrop

It’s been a while since I’ve created a fancy wall backdrop craft and I was inspired by our seemingly endless winter (doesn’t it always feel that way in April?) and the desire to soak up some sun. This easy, bright and fun vignette is perfect for birthdays, costume parties or any upcoming Hawaiian-themed events to lighten the winter mood to encourage that warmer weather to arrive.


  • For Leaves:
  • Scissors
  • 3-5 paper poster boards in varying tones of green
  • 8.5″ x 11″ paper in more tones of green (optional)
  • Pencil
  • For Flowers:
  • Hot glue gun
  • Crepe paper in varying colors for hibiscus flowers (yellow, coral, or pink are good options)
  • Paint
  • Floral wire

We’re going to start off by making the greenery. Having a variety of shapes will enhance the ‘tropical forest’ feel of your backdrop, so take to google images and look for island plants and leaves. Sketch out a few of the shapes that appeal to you. For me, that was a big, round monstera leaf, some palm leaves, ferns and a few ‘generic’ looking leaves to fill the space.

With your pencil, trace out a few of your shapes onto the poster board. For high impact, I wanted the leaves to be very large. I started with my biggest leaf, the monstera, and used the whole width of a poster board to draw it in. I also cut my large palm leaves. From here, using the remaining paper from the poster board started drawing and cutting out my other leaf shapes, even saving the edge scraps for some long thin leaves to fill in gaps.

Once you have a starting variety of shapes, sizes and colours, you can start playing around with arrangements and see what “gaps” you have in your collection, whether you have too much of one size or colour, and use your remaining supplies to balance it out.

You can totally stop here, tape it up on the wall and party, or add a few flowers to the mix.

I based my flowers off of this tutorial for making the hibiscus flowers but sized everything up to scale. You’ll cut 5 ‘tear-drop’ shaped petals from your crepe paper and if you want the look of real hibiscus, take a little bit of paint and colour the bottom quarter or so. (I used gouache since it is pigmented but also soaked into the paper a bit. Acrylic would work if you thinned it out a little so it won’t get stiff, and in a pinch even a felt marker would do). Yellow hibiscus tend to have coral centers while the pink and red flowers simply have a darker tone in the middle.

Once this is dry lay them out in a fan shape and hot glue the centers, one petal on top of another. They should overlap quite a bit.

To prepare the stamen that epitomizes the look of the hibiscus flower, cut out two small rectangles from your crepe paper, and with a little bit of hot glue, sandwich your floral wire in between. Then snip into the paper at an angle to create a little fringe. Use your fingers to fluff and fold it out.

Lay your floral wire in the centre of your fan and glue down. Next, carefully fold and twist your petals around the wire and tuck the bottom petal on top of the topmost petal and hot glue. Once dry you can peel back your petals and open your flower. For the rippled effect, gently tug and stretch the crepe paper at the edge of your petals.

To display, use wall safe tape and layer your leaves on the wall. For the ones on the bottom you can tape along the edges if they’ll be covered by other leaves, otherwise use tape loops so it isn’t visible. Bend your floral wire 90 degrees and slide your flowers in between your leaves and secure with tape. Voila! Your walls are ready for a tip-top tiki party. Just add some pineapple and coconuts.

Dreamy DIY Ombré Paper Backdrop

DIY Ombré Paper Backdrop // Boots & Cats

It should be no secret by now that I love backdrops. I’ve had a love affair with them since the moment I joined Pinterest. I made my first one from metallic fringe for New Years Eve in 2013 and haven’t looked back since. Give me any occasion and I’ll try to whip one up. Luckily I have a large swath of empty wall space in my living room that just begs for a backdrop wall installation year round! I’ve shared some of these with you before, including this geometric autumn garland and last year’s spring floral set up, as well I’m sure you’ve seen peeks of the golden medallions, and strings of stars making an appearance in the background of other projects. It’s gotten to the point where the wall looks sad and naked without anything there.

Ideally I’d like to change up the artwork with the seasons, but sometimes it’ll only get changed twice a year. Last spring, I was so eager to leave winter behind, I built up the florals in early April as my foray into spring. My warm-weather dreams were kinda destroyed though when it continued to snow for a few more weeks. To avoid the soul-crushing, I decided to wait a little while longer before getting the spring backdrop ready this year.

Then life somehow took over and what was supposed to be ‘holding-out-for-a-few-more-weeks-until-the-snow-is-gone’ became ‘holy-crap-how-is-it-already-July?!’. But here it is, in it’s bold, ombre and super pink glory.

DIY Ombré Paper Backdrop // Boots & Cats

I’d been inspired by this post on Style Me Pretty for a long time, having ‘pinned’ it years ago and just waiting for the moment I could deploy it. I love its dreamy softness, yet geometric, 3D, sculptural-ness. I also knew that I wanted to inject a pop of colour to the mix, and a little bit of ombré is never a bad idea.

I followed Erin’s instructions pretty closely, except that I used coffee filters instead of wax-paper so it would take the dye. This also had the handy bonus that they were already circles, so I got to skip a step! Yay for efficiency.

It was a little meticulous and time consuming to put it all together, but there aren’t too many materials needed and the process was so much fun. I’ve never had as much Instagram fodder as when I was making this. It was just so visually bold I wanted to take photos with the materials non-stop along the way (which is also probably why it took so long…)

DIY Ombré Paper Backdrop // Boots & Cats

Let’s get to it. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Coffee filters (I used a full pack of 100)
  • Food colouring or fabric dye (I used Wilton gel icing colours)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • String or twine
  • Large sewing needle (a knitting one works great)

DIY Ombré Paper Backdrop // Boots & Cats

1. The first step is dyeing your coffee filters to the colour of your choice. It’s actually a very easy process, you just need a little bit of space to make a mess and let them dry. I used this tutorial, but it’s pretty self-explanatory. To get the ombré effect, I mixed my darkest tone (mixing Christmas Red and Pink icing colours) and began dyeing about a fifth of my filters. I then diluted my dye bath with water and dyed the next fifth and so on. For the lightest tone of pink I just added a few drops of the pink to a new bath of clean water just to get it ever-so-slightly pinked. I also dunked the plain white ones in clean water and dried them out so they would have the same texture as the rest.

2. Lay them out to dry and Instagram as much as possible.

DIY Ombré Paper Backdrop // Boots & Cats

To make them into the cone shapes, you need to cut the circles in half. As I was doing this, surrounded by piles of paper, I made a discovery. It’s pretty ground-breaking and I am so excited to share with you. Ready? Two words. GIANT. CONFETTI. They flutter around in the air when tossed and it is pretty much the most fun EVER. Like playing in an autumn pile of leaves without fear or spiders hiding underneath. I’m definitely keeping this idea in my back pocket for my next party. It would be so fun to dye a few different colours and toss them about with friends. Plus, since they are large, they are WAY easier to tidy up.

You’re welcome world.

DIY Ombré Paper Backdrop // Boots & Cats

3. Once you feel you’ve frolicked enough, take your half circles and turn them into cones. I found white glue worked the best as the filters just soaked it up and held strongly. Apply glue in a strip along half the edge, starting in the center.

4. Bring both ends together, overlap them a little bit, and hold for about 5 seconds. Set to dry, and repeat.

5. Take many photos of your tiny mountain range. (If I could figure out how to adhere them to the wall like this I SO would have. Pink spikes? Yes please.)

6. Once dry, decide on the layout of your design. Do you want the colour gradient from left to right? Top down? Bottom up? Should the strands all be the same length or should they be staggered? You’ll also need to measure the size of your display space so the strands aren’t too long, too short or too wide. I arranged all my rows on the floor to get an idea of the size and colour design before I started assembling.

7. Next, you’ll need your string, sewing needle and knot tying skills. Cut a string about 20 cm longer than your intended length of the strand. Starting from the bottom up, you’ll tie a knot in your string, then sew it through the tiny hole at the top of your cone. I found I usually needed a double knot so it would be thick enough stay in place, but a dot of glue also helps keep it there if the cone wants to slide past the knot. Once it’s secure, tie the next knot above it and work your way up adding the cones. For spacing between the knots I just sort of eyeballed it, but you could definitely measure each one to be more precise and even.

8. Once you have all your strands complete, cut another piece of string about 30 cm longer than your intended width. Tie the strands to this string using basic knots. They’ll be secure in place, but still have the ability to slide along so you can adjust your spacing once it’s on the wall.

Now you just need to put it up! I used a few pieces of trusty washi tape to adhere to my walls since the filters are quite lightweight. I also love the look of Erin’s where it is tied to the rafters. If you have that option, I’d say go for it!

DIY Ombré Paper Backdrop // Boots & Cats

I am super happy to have finally finished this project (better late than never, amirite?). The living room is so bright and cheery, which is just how I want to feel in the summer. Though there is now a definite hot pink theme happening in the space, which I find keeps happening, even though I still tell myself it’s not my favourite colour.

This project was just the creative change of pace I needed to take a small break from sewing. Like a crisp breath of fresh air I am ready to jump in and try more new things and get new projects done. If only these sweltering temperatures didn’t make me feel so lazy…

Easy Washi Tape Easter Egg and Bunny Art

Easy Easter Washi Tape Art // Boots & Cats

The unpleasant snowfall that kicked off this month could be written off as an April Fools joke, but seriously, this weather can just stop and let the sun shine through. I am ready for spring- mentally, fashionably and creatively. This means that the winter decor in my apartment needs to get changed up from the current deep tones and metallics right into the rainbow of bright and pastel hues that let you KNOW warmer weather is imminent.

While thinking about this, I was a little caught off guard by how soon Easter was coming up. Like… this weekend! I lamented my utter lack of decor for the holiday that would push everything in the ‘spring’ direction. (As you should all be familiar with by now, I LOVE holidays, seasons and any reason to celebrate and decorate). Luckily a friend and I had a craft night on the calendar and Pinterest had loads of easy and adorable ideas for Easter crafts and pretty things for spring in general.

Easy Easter Washi Tape Art // Boots & Cats

With not much time for prep or supplies on hand, I decided to do a take on this simple silhouette artwork from Minted. I wanted to incorporate some cute bunnies by creating my own cut-outs and I also decided to use washi tape instead of scrapbook paper since glue and I don’t always get along (self-adhesion for the win!).

I made both pieces in about an hour and a half and I already had everything I needed in my craft drawer.

Easy Easter Washi Tape Art // Boots & Cats

To make your own artwork you’ll need:

  • Cardstock (2 sheets per piece)
  • Washi tape (various colours and patterns)
  • A pencil
  • Scissors (or xacto knife)
  • Double-sided tape or glue

Start by drawing your image in pencil on the cardstock. Once you are happy with your design, cut it out using the scissors. To keep it symmetrical, I cut out one bunny first, then used the piece I just cut as a guide to trace his friend. Now choose your washi tapes (coordinating colours work best) and layer stripes on the un-cut piece of cardstock. This will be placed behind the cut piece so you have the show-through effect. Once all the space has been filled with washi stripes, place double sided tape along all the sides and stick the two layers together.

Easy Easter Washi Tape Art // Boots & Cats

I used more washi to ‘frame’ them on the wall, but they’d also look quite elegant in real frames as well.

That is actually it. So simple. I love the bright colours and bunnies for springtime and it adds just the right amount of ‘festive’ to our space, just in time for the long weekend. With different colours you could totally apply this concept to other holidays or motifs. But for now, SUNSHINE.

I hope you all have a wonderful long weekend filled with some rest, some chocolate and some beautiful days. Cheers!

Spring Flower Backdrop

Floral Backdrop for spring // Boots & Cats

This weekend I livened up the living room with a garden of  hanging tissue paper flowers and greenery. This project was amazingly fun to do and was pretty much essential to bring some spring colors into the apartment. This winter has been ruthless and I needed some flowers in here! Fingers crossed that there will be no more snow from here on out.

Floral Backdrop for spring // Boots & Cats

To make this bright springtime wall backdrop you’ll need:

  • Brightly colored tissue paper (I used a rainbow of colors, but any coordinating variety would work really well)
  • Matching washi tape
  • Scissors
  • Needle & thread

Blueprint for a Floral Backdrop // Boots & Cats

To begin, create a plan of how you want the florals to be arranged, so you know how many flowers you’ll need to cut from each color. I wanted to include all 7 colors I had on hand so a blueprint was a must. Measure the size of your wall-space and decide how many hanging strands you want, how many flowers you want to fit on each and if you want some greenery too.

I made sure to create a pattern that had a gradient like flow in the colors while having even amounts of each. This took a little bit of strategic planning at the beginning, but in the long run it really paid off to keep the arrangement balanced.

Once you know your plan, it’s time for tissue. The flowers needed a natural natural looking aesthetic that hung a little ‘floppier’, so I avoided the ‘pom-pom’ method that is quite popular on pinterest. After a few trials I came up with a method that worked quite well, even if it was tedious at times.

Floral backdrop for spring - Step 1 & 2  // Boots & Cats

1. Cut a strip of tissue at the width you’d like your flower to be.  For a fuller flower with more petals, fold the tissue to desired width first.

2. To add a ‘blend’ of colors, add a strip of another color and fold the whole thing over.

Floral backdrop for spring - Step 3 & 4  // Boots & Cats

3. Keep folding until your strip has become a square.

4. Fold one last time to make a triangle or rectangle depending on the type of petals desired.

Floral backdrop for spring - Step 5 & 6  // Boots & Cats

5. From here start cutting in your petals. Make sure to hold on to your layers and keep them together.

6. Open the flower. I reinforced the center on both sides with a matching washi tape dot to keep my flowers from ripping when hung.

Floral backdrop for spring - Step 7 & 8  // Boots & Cats

7. Pin with a sewing pin to keep the layers together.

8. Gently twist to spin the layers apart for your full bloom!

Watch out for pins! // Boots & Cats

I built all my flowers first before assembling the strands, but I could have strung them up as I made them. By leaving all the flowers with the sewing pins in them it became a bit of a hazard at times. Please use caution. Pins are stabby.

To create greenery, accordion fold a long strip of tissue and cut out a leaf shape. This time, let the layers be separated and reinforce each with washi tape at the stems.

Sewing in the details // Boots & Cats

With a green (or any color you’d like) sewing thread, measure out the total height of your backdrop. Double this length, thread your needle and fold the thread in two. Tie a knot at the end.

Floral backdrop for spring  // Boots & Cats

You will be sewing from the bottom of the garland to the top. Keep this in mind when following your blueprint. Tie a knot in the thread where you want your floral or leaves to stop, then use the needle to thread it onto the line. Be sure to use a small hand-sewing needle or it will create a hole larger than the knots you tie and your flowers will slide all the way through. Repeat this process as you move up the garland. I found it easiest to tape the end of the string down and work outwards.

Floral backdrop for spring   // Boots & Cats

Using washi tape, fasten your strands to the wall! I taped them at the top and bottom to avoid tangles when the window is opened.

Floral backdrop for spring // Boots & Cats

Once up, you may want to twist, open and fluff your flowers up a bit.

This project took around 6 hours total to complete. It also had a lot of off-cut tissue paper. I shredded the leftover into rainbow mix of confetti for a future occasion.


I am in love with the results of this project. It suddenly feels like a full change of season in here. (Now just for it to happen outside as well!) I’m sure you’ll see it popping up in the background of all sorts of things this spring.

Happy Monday!

Adventures in Stamps

adventures-in-stampsOkay okay…week one and I already didn’t meet my goal of posting between Monday and Wednesday. I am consoling in the fact that I finally finished organizing the last moving boxes in the back of the closet abyss this week so in the grand scale of things, it all evens out somehow.

Anyways…it’s time to talk about stamps.

At my winter craft party, Rory spent his time carving out a footbag stamp, and then for Christmas I received a plethora of stamp pads in various colors, so I guess it was time to try making stamps. The concept seemed easy enough but it was my first try at it. Luckily I had seen Rory’s method and he had all the primo materials already at hand.

Materials you need:

  • Rubber eraser (to be the stamp)
  • Fine point Sharpie (for markings)
  • Small Xacto knife (to carve your design)
  • Stamp Pads
  • Paper


I started with sketching out some ideas. I knew I was going to use them for note cards and memos, so I sketched out things that would make nice patterns and would fit on the cards well.


Once I had chosen my first design, I traced it with sharpie fine point onto my eraser. I found this collection of erasers at the dollar store. They had a good width for these stamps. For larger designs you might have to invest in more proper materials.


Using the Xacto knife, follow your design and remove the negative space (since you want your design to be raised above the rest). It can be somewhat tedious especially if your design is complex, but it really helps to use a sharp knife. The easier to slice the rubber, the more precise your design can be.


Sometimes your designs and materials create hilarious coincidences.


Carving designs isn’t the only way to make stamps. Pinterest is full of ideas of how to use other materials to create unique designs. I quite liked the look of using string to create a cross-hatching design.


Once you have created your design and accompanying pieces, test it out! Try different combinations of colors, or over-lapping stamps. See the difference in using full on ink, or dabbing it after is has faded. The combinations are endless.


The play around with it some more. Trust me, stamping is addicting!


Once I was happy with colors and textures, I traced out the note cards in which I would be decorating


I made one for general notes I need to remember (so much better than post-its), one for my big goals this year and one extra for who knows what!

(To get the two-toned effect on the hearts, I just dipped half the stamp on one ink pad, and the other half on the other!)


I now have beautiful hanging cards on my cat note holder. Such a lovely, bright addition to my work space.

Have you ever attempted to make stamps? I’d love to see your projects!

Tissue Paper Party Poms

IMG_9951 At the end of last month I celebrated my golden birthday, (that is, the day of the month matched the age I was turning), which meant I HAD to go all out. Right? So off I went head first into the golden theme. I have a whole bunch of props and decorations I made to share with you over the next few weeks.

(The golden backdrop in the title image was a super simple idea adapted from here, where I just took die-cut metallic circles and taped them to the wall with painters tape.)

First up, golden (and lavender) tissue paper pom poms. A few months back at an event, someone brought in a bunch of tissue paper pom poms for decorations. I thought they were really cute, until they told me they spent $20 on a pack of three! As I was setting them up I looked at how they were made and took note for a day like today. I managed to make 10 poms in various sizes for about $2.50 in tissue paper with other things from around the house. supplies You’ll need:

  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Sheets of tissue paper (10 sheets will make 1 large and two mini poms, or for 1 medium, 2 small and 1 extra mini pom.)

fold-tie Lay all 10 sheets on top of one another. Decide the approximate diameter of the poms you want and cut a square section through all the layers. If you plan ahead you can cut up to four poms from a rectangular piece of tissue.

Accordion fold all the layers of the square back and forth with a width of about 3cm until the whole stack is folded. Tie it down in the center. cut-and-fan On both ends, trim the corners into a point. Now spread out both sides like a fan, making sure your string keeps it tied in the center.


Pinch, and delicately pull up each layer one at a time to fluff it out. You’ll want to fluff about 5 sheets forward and 5 sheets backwards to get a rounded look. Repeat on the other side.


Be very careful when fluffing as the tissue can rip very easily. (Especially the metallic ones for some reason).


Repeat process for minis!


Tie a ribbon to the center tie to hang up your poms. Now you are ready to party!

It was a lot of fun to mix and match the colors. These would be wonderful for a holiday dinner party with a little red, green and gold!

Gallery Wall

Gallery wall// Boots & Cats

Here it is! Finally, after all those peeks… the gallery wall is up in my living space. I am quite pleased with it if I do say so myself.

mapping // Boots & Cats

It was an interesting process for me, as I am a perfectionist until the end, taking that step to put nails in the wall was a tough one. At the beginning I was worried I’d have put hundreds of holes in the wall before I got my result. To make sure that didn’t happen I traced the size and shape of each print and frame I wanted to hang  onto brown packing paper (newsprint would also work well). I taped them to the wall with washi tape. With this I could play with the arrangement and spacing of my frames to make sure it worked well on the wall space and had even balance.


Then to make sure I was 100% precise, I measured the distance (height and width) of the frame hook and marked it on the paper.


This probably could have been done before placing them on the wall, but I hadn’t thought that far ahead.

rrrrrip // Boots & Cats

From there I could just plunk the nails where I marked my X, and rip the paper away.


I then hung all my frames and voila! It was a lot easier than I had initially expected, and I am happy I took the steps to make sure everything was as perfect as I could get.

because cats //Boots & Cats

I really wanted to make sure my wall looked curated and not totally thrown together. I arranged my prints on the floor before taping the paper to the wall to get a general idea of what looked good together. I wanted an even distribution of color, size and frame weight. (I also unintentionally discovered the combo “You can do anything, but not everything…because cats”. Amazing)


I was also happy to incorporate my thread rack into the visual mix, since this wall is a part of my creative space.


In summary, my tips for a successful gallery wall:

  • Choose artwork or photos with a general theme or color palette. Most of my images relate to cats, but the ones that don’t have similar artistic styles, or are photos with similar colors. It is an eclectic mix, but still cohesive.
  • Make sure there is visual balance between light and heavy pieces, as well as spacing.
  • Map out the placement beforehand to see how the shapes work in your space.
  • Just go for it! You can always change it up, or even just change a few pieces as time goes on. (Patching holes in drywall isn’t all that bad, right?)

Autumn Leaf Illuminated Garland


This year, I am falling head over heels for…well, fall. Everywhere I go I see inspiration about this time of year and an opportunity to make my space a little warmer (Both figuratively and literally…) This glowing falling leaves garland is just what the season ordered.

Last week I had to stop at the dollar store for a few odds and ends and noticed the huge tissue paper section. Every color imaginable. So of course I grab a few armfuls. Walking home I started brainstorming what to do with it all as the leaves fell overhead.  This idea instantly popped in my head and I just had to do it. I already had everything else I needed and in total it took about 30 minutes to complete!

supplies // Boots & Cats

What you will need is simply:

  • Autumn toned tissue paper
  • Matching washi tape
  • Scissors
  • A pencil (not shown)
  • Fairy lights (optional, not shown)


The first step is measuring the length of the space you plan on hanging the garland so you can make the strands long enough. The section of wall where I planned to hang mine needed two lengths of the tissue paper to hang nicely.

Then start sketching shapes for your autumn leaves. You may need to go outside or check Google images for reference or a tracing template. A good diverse mix of leaf types will be best.


From the tissue, cut strips with the depth of the leaves you’ve sketched (for best results, use varying dimensions for each color). From here fold the strips accordion style, like you are making a paper doll chain!


Trace one of your leaf designs onto the top piece of your accordion.

The trickiest part of this project is cutting the tissue paper without tearing it, especially with more detailed leaves. Time and patience, friends.

repeat // Boots & Cats

Repeat the first steps for each color and leaf design you’ve chosen to make! (I made three types)


If you need multiple strips of tissue for length like I did, fasten the strips together with matching washi tape. It becomes nearly invisible on the wall.

enjoy // Boots & Cats

Now hang and enjoy! I first hung the fairy lights behind so they would glow through the paper and then layered each color layer on top. To create a more natural ‘pile of leaves’ look, fluff the strands and weave them within the different layers and through the lights.


I am now fully prepared for cool evenings sipping hot cocoa by a warm autumn’s glow.

Warm Glow // Boots & Cats

Gallery Wall Inspiration

Original Image-Slim Payley// Text Edit-Boots & Cats

Original Image-Slim Payley// Text Edit-Boots & Cats

I am ashamed to admit that it is only now, nearly 2 full months of living in a new apartment, that I have reached the point where I can start decorating. Between the unpacking, organizing, summer trips and social events, I knew that beginning to pretty-fy this place would only get in the way unless I waited. But alas, the wait is over! Everything practical is in it’s place and the walls and floor space is bare and open to anything I wish! A girl could probably go overboard with this type of freedom, so I am just going to take it one step at a time, just to be safe.

The first project on the decorating to-do is to curate and hang a ‘gallery wall’ in my living room / workspace. I have really been infatuated with this trend for hanging art and photos in a seemingly disorganized cluster. I have a few starting prints and photos I want to hang, but I need to find the last few pieces to fill the holes in the space.

It goes without saying I like fashion, saturated colors…and cats. Most of the prints will have something to do with these.

Here are the images I am crushing on at the moment. I’ll post photos once the wall is hanging in all it’s glory. Some of these you may find on the wall, others are serving as inspiration for pieces I might try to make myself to feature.

Because Cats- Society 6

Because Cats- Society 6

Yellow Gown- Paperfashion

Summer Yellow- Paperfashion

Feel Beautiful Today - Pink Lemonade

Feel Beautiful Today – Pink Lemonade

Anything Not Everything - Charm & Gumption

Anything Not Everything – Charm & Gumption

Have a purr-fect weekend everyone!

Reign Repeats


Last month I signed up for my first SkillShare class. I am always open to the opportunity to learn new things, but I sometimes find it difficult to muster up the motivation to teach myself . When I discovered SkillShare, and the work-at-your-own-pace video tutorial format, I was intrigued and thought it might work for me. I only had to wait for a course I wanted to jump in with. There were many many choices of things I wanted to try but nothing stood out enough for me at such a busy time. Then one day I randomly stumbled upon Reign Repeats: Create Perfect Repeat Patterns in Illustrator on a textile blog. I signed up right then.

I have always had an interest in textile design, and while I know a bit about traditional techniques, (like shibori dyeing), I have only dreamed about  how to create digital patterns. This class is taught by textile designer MaJo Bautista V .The emphasis on learning Illustrator was really important to me, because while I used to be better in Illustrator, I have forgotten much of it since University. MaJo covers all the basics of the program, as well as using it in creating a textile repeat based on a concept.

Look ma! I'm drawing in Illustrator!

Look ma! I’m drawing in Illustrator!

Here are a few snippets of my works so far. MaJo structured the course so that we could enter the Spoonflower design contest at the end. Since we are moving this week, I didn’t make the deadline, but I wanted to share my progress with you. I will share my final design as soon as I finish.

The theme we built our concepts around was the same as the Spoonflower contest, Picnics! It was perfect for this time of year. I was really inspired. She instructed us through brainstorming methods and structuring our concepts.

mood board

This is my visual inspiration board. I want to credit source photos, but I didn’t plan on sharing it with you when I made it. I grabbed things from Pinterest and Google and when I tried to find them again to credit, I couldn’t trace things much further back than tumblr reposts. Next time I will make sure to trace and credit from the beginning.


I always get thirsty at picnics and I have been drinking lemonade like no body’s business this week (it’s been over +30!) so that is where I took my motif.


Refreshing cool retro colors and a day in the sun. The perfect picnic. I will keep you posted with my final results. If you are interested, you can sign up for the course at any time, however MaJo has finished mentoring and giving feedback this week (and the contest deadline has passed). There has been discussion that she will facilitate the course again this fall, so keep an eye out.

Have you ever taken course online to learn something new?